Illness will keep Schmidt from start of spring training

Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt at Phillies spring training in Clearwater, Florida in 2013. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)
Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt at Phillies spring training in Clearwater, Florida in 2013. (Yong Kim/Staff file photo)
Posted: January 24, 2014

The Phillies announced their coaching staff for spring training next month in Clearwater, Fla., and as interesting as some of the names were on that long, long list, the one that was missing jumped out even more.

Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt will not be a spring-training instructor for the first time in a long, long time, and the reason is an illness that is serious enough to keep him from doing one of the things he truly loves.

"Mike is treating a health issue that requires him to remain near his doctors and will be unable to attend spring training as a field instructor this year," Phillies vice president for communications Bonnie Clark said. "He plans to visit camp in the middle of March as part of his marketing relationship and continue his normal visits throughout the summer."

Clark said she did not know the nature of Schmidt's illness.

Schmidt, 64, is the Phillies' all-time leader in games, hits, extra-base hits, home runs, at-bats, walks, runs, and RBIs. He also was a three-time MVP and a 10-time Gold Glove winner.

A total of 26 instructors will be assisting manager Ryne Sandberg in his first spring training. That list includes Sandberg's coaching staff, the staff from triple-A Lehigh Valley, all field coordinators, and five guest instructors, including the recently retired Roy Halladay, who is expected for two weeks.

The four other guest instructors will be Dave Hollins, Brad Lidge, Larry Andersen, and Gary Matthews.


bbrookover@phillynews.com

@brookob

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